Cat owners are faced with cleaning the dreaded litter box on a daily basis. Technology has thankfully made this somewhat stinky chore easier over the last decade or two. Formulations have gone from simple sand and clay mixtures to easier to handle clumping products. Many formulas contain pleasant fragrances that help get rid of the bad odors. The newest idea for the litter box is flushable cat litter.
The What and How
The ingredients and texture of flushable cat litter allow the cat waste to be flushed down a home toilet. This is an easy way to discard the solids, and it helps to cut down on the odor. The ingredients include a special clay that is safe for plumbing and a clumping agent to aid with picking up the waste. Many brands offer original no scent and scented varieties. For the best results maintain between 3 and 4 inches of litter in the box. To keep the litter box clean and odor-free simply remove the clumps daily. Refill as needed with fresh litter. There are positive elements when deciding to use flushable cat litter and also possible negative consequences. If you’re looking for a no kittly litter approach be sure to read this City Kitty review.
Benefits of using the product include:
- A reduction in odor since the waste is immediately removed from the house.
- No smelly trash bags or cans to deal with.
- Less waste in the landfills from the litter and trash bags used to contain it.
- Some brands allow what material is left after removing the solids to be composted.
- It costs approximately the same as other clumping cat litter products.
Possible negatives of using this type of litter can include:
- Damage to the plumbing system from clogs. While the products claim they are safe there are often warnings included about not using if you have a septic system.
- It saves on trash bags and does not fill up the landfills, but uses water which is a valuable resource.
- Added water and sewer bill expense.
- It may be difficult to find locally so may have to be purchased online.
- Some states, such as California, prohibit the flushing of cat litter in any system because of safety concerns for the environment and wildlife.
Safety and Training
It is possible for any type of litter to irritate the paws and lungs. If this happens try a litter with different ingredients to see if that works better for the cat. As with any other litter product keep other pets and children away from the box, and make sure they cannot reach the container or bag.
Transitioning from regular cat litter to the clumping style can create some issues. To ensure the cat continues to use the litter box make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the box after dumping the old litter. Dry the box and place the amount of new litter as suggested on the container. Place the litter box back in the exact spot so the cat is not confused by a change in location. Some brands contain scents that will attract the cat to the litter box to help facilitate the training.
There are a number of different brands available to the cat owner. The following can be purchased online:
Better Way Flushable Cat Litter is made by Ultra Pet and is easy on the paws and contains a natural attractant to help litter box train kittens. It breaks apart for easier flushing, but is not safe for septic systems. The litter comes in an easy to carry and pour container.
Cat’s Pride Premium Scoopable Cat Litter contains sodium betonies clay which does not swell making it flushable. While it is not recommended for us with septic systems it should not clog pipes. Some consumers who reviewed the product complained about the amount of dust it produces when filling the litter box.
Completely odor free, Swheat Scoop Multi Cat Natural Wheat Cat Litter is safe for both sewers and septic systems. Made from ground wheat this product clumps so you are able to scoop the solids and other waste. The soft texture is easy on cat paws. There is a multi cat size available as well as a smaller bag for homes with just one cat.
No matter what type of product is used for filling the litter box there are downsides. All litter can be tracked out of the box and around your house on the feet of the cat. There are no varieties of flushable litter that are completely free of dust. Filling the box and even scooping can cause irritation to the nose and throat. Cats that are sensitive to dust may also have a tough time with the fine particulates used in this form of litter.
Most brands of flushable litters create less mess and odor than those that need to be bagged and put in the trash. They also clump so are not as much trouble to scoop as traditional clay based cat litter. Cat owners do need to weigh these conveniences against the possibility of clogged pipes and higher water bills before making the switch to flushable litter.